Health Care Access
According to health center data, approximately 25% of farmworkers and their family members seek health care at a community health center. Community health centers that serve farmworkers and their families (commonly called migrant health centers) receive federal funds under Section 330(g) of the Public Health Service Act. This funding is administered by the Bureau of Primary Health Care at the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Underinsured and uninsured patients at community health centers can pay for services on a sliding fee scale, based on their income and family size. Yet cost remains a major obstacle to health care access for many farmworkers and their families. Some farmworkers and their families are eligible for Medicaid or subsidized health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Workers who are injured or become ill at work may be eligible for workers’ compensation. However, laws regarding workers’ compensation coverage for farmworkers vary by state and eligible workers may be reluctant to file workers’ compensation claims due to misinformation or fear or employer retaliation.
Farmworker Justice partners with community health centers, Primary Care Associations, community-based organizations, legal services organizations, and national organizations to promote farmworker access to health care. FJ is a member of the Farmworker Health Network, a network of six national organizations (FJ, Health Outreach Partners, MHP Salud, Migrant Clinicians Network, National Center for Farmworker Health, and National Association of Community Health Centers) who provide training and technical assistance to health centers that serve farmworkers. We also partner with other national organizations that provide training and technical assistance to health centers through funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration. More information about these organizations and links to resources can be found in the National Health Center Resource Clearinghouse.
Disclaimer: This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $450,000 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.